UK exporters urged to act swiftly as new customs platform transition looms


In just three months, the UK’s legacy customs platform, CHIEF (Cargo Handling of Import and Export Freight), will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Rhenus UK is encouraging exporters to take prompt steps to transition to the new system before the late 2023 deadline.

While import declarations shifted to CDS on 1st October 2022, the switchover for export declarations is scheduled for 30th November 2023.

Rhenus UK is advising exporters to prepare for the November switchover now to avoid costly delays. “While not obligatory, we recommend that businesses register with CDS, if they have not already done so, as part of the CDS Import Full Trader Roll-Out. Additionally, traders must ensure that any authorisations and easements they hold, and which are applied to CHIEF declarations currently, are compatible with CDS, taking outward processing as one example,” says Rob Mulligan, UK Customs Manager, Rhenus UK.

To ease the transition process, exporters should understand their obligations when engaging an agent to complete an export declaration on their behalf, and familiarise themselves with the UK Trade Tariff (Volume III for CDS) to provide agents with the required information for declarations.

With the clock ticking, Mulligan advises exporters to take the necessary steps: register, authorise, and prepare to ensure success in the transfer process. “Rhenus UK is ready to support its customers, but businesses must act promptly to safeguard their future exporting plans. While the transfer process is expected to be straightforward for most businesses, proactive measures are essential to prevent future delays.”